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Cyclone Biparjoy: Gujarat Faces Challenges Of Restoring Power, Clearing Roads; Rajasthan Braces For Heavy Rain – 10 Points

Cyclone Biparjoy did not cause a single death, according to the authorities. Over 1 lakh persons were evacuated from vulnerable areas to safer locations before Biparjoy made landfall in coastal Gujarat.

Several houses are damaged as the flood water makes its way in the aftermath of the Cyclone Biparjoy, in Kutch district.
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Cyclone Biparjoy wreaked havoc through Kutch and parts of Saurashtra region of Gujarat as it made landfall near Jakhau Port from 6.30 pm on Thursday and the process continued till 2.30 am. The state woke up to heavy rains and strong winds on Friday morning as personnel now work to open roads and restore electricity supply. 

While the storm has weakened and has moved towards southern Rajasthan on Friday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that north Gujarat should brace for heavy rainfall. 

Biparjoy cyclone - top 10 developments

1. No death has so far been reported from Cyclone Biparjoy, according to the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General (DG) Atul Karwal.

However, 23 people were injured and widespread damage to public spaces and supply of essential services was caused by Biparjoy. The PTI reported that the storm damaged 5,120 electricity poles and left 4,600 villages without power. Later on, power supply was restored in 3,580 villages, but over 1,000 villages remained without electricity, as per the latest update. Nearly 600 trees were also uprooted and traffic movement was disrupted on three highways.

Karwal said that of the villages without electricity, 40 per cent disruptions were in Kutch district alone.

A total of 1,127 teams were working in the districts of Kutch, Devbhumi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Morbi, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Rajkot and Porbandar as of Friday evening, said a government statement cited by PTI.

3. Around 1,09,000 persons were evacuated to temporary shelters in safer locations from vulnerable areas, according to a government statement cited by PTI. 

4. The IMD said heavy rainfall is expected in northern Gujarat and authorities in the area are shifting people to safer areas.

"With the cyclone moving further inland, authorities in the north Gujarat districts of Banaskantha and Patan were bracing for its impact by shifting people in low-lying areas to shelters. The IMD forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy rainfall in Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Morbi and Kutch till Saturday morning," reportd PTI.

5. Red alert has been issued in several areas of Rajasthan for extremely heavy rainfall. The weather department has said that the rainfall would continue in Rajasthan till Monday. 

On Friday, rainfall was repprted in Rajasthan's Jalore, Sirohi, Barmer, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and nearby areas with wind speed in some areas reaching 40-50 kmph.

"The weather department has issued a 'red alert' for extremely heavy rainfall in isolated areas in Barmer, Jalore on Saturday. Very heavy rains are likely in Jodhpur, Pali and Sirohi while Jaisalmer, Rajsamand, Udaipur and Dungarpur districts may receive heavy rains," reported PTI.

"A red alert has been issued for Barmer, Jalore, Pali and Sirohi districts on Sunday while Jodhpur, Nagaur, Ajmer, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, and Udaipur districts may receive very heavy rains and heavy rains are expected in Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Chittorgarh, Pratapgarh, Dungarpur, Banswara, Bundi, Tonk districts," PTI further reported.

6. SDRF Commandant Rajkumar Gupta said 30 rescue teams have been deployed in Rajasthan's districts where there is an alert and 22 rescue teams are in reserve at district headquarters.

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7. The Gujarat government had deployed over 200 teams in the forests of Gir and Kutch to respond to lions and other animals facing cyclone-induced emergencies. Notably, Gir in Gujarat is the only place in the world to have Asiatic lions. One of these teams rescued two lion cubs that had fallen into an open well in Jasadhar Range of Gir East division on Thursday evening, reported PTI, quoting an official.

Cattle-rearers living inside the forest were also evacuated and were moved to safer temporary shelters, reported PTI.

8. As a precautionary measure, the Western Railways cancelled up to 99 trains as the storm made its way into the state, up from its earlier count of 76. According to a press release, 23 more trains have been cancelled, three trains short-terminated and seven trains short originated. This takes the total cancelled trains to 99 while a total of 39 trains have been short-terminated, and 38 trains short-originated.

9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel over phone and took stock of the situation. The PM reportedly asked about the details of the safety arrangements for wild animals including lions in Gir Forest. Meanwhile, the chief minister assessed the impact of cyclone at the State Emergency Operation Center in Gandhinagar early this morning.

10. Pakistani authorities said that the country was largely spared from the Biparjoy as it hit India and weakened. 

"Pakistan was prepared but largely spared the full force. Sindh’s coastal areas, like Sujawal, were inundated by high sea levels but most people had been evacuated to safe ground," Pakistan's Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman tweeted.

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